The desire for solitude and privacy is not unhealthy. In fact, it’s a preference for many psychologically healthy people. That is not to say that they avoid people and fail to develop deep, meaningful relationships but they’re comfortable, more so than the average person, with solitude.
Your desire for solitude, however, is based upon fear. That is unhealthy. You avoid people because you can’t trust them. You fear that you’re going to be hurt. Keeping your distance is a form of protection.
In essence, this is a trust issue. Sometimes people have trust issues if they’ve been hurt in the past. They may have never had close relationships and aren’t sure how to navigate or manage those relationships. People fear the unknown.
You asked about how can you become “normal.” Normal is relative but I think what you mean is how you can learn to normally interact with people. One immediate strategy is face your fears. This means forcing yourself to interact with people even when you feel anxiety. Each time you avoid these interactions due to anxiety, it reinforces your fears. It hurts you every time you give into your anxiety. Sit with your anxiety and force yourself to interact with people even if it’s uncomfortable and unpleasant (and it will be). Ideally, you should work with a therapist who can support and guide you through this process.
Therapy may be a challenge because of your trust issues but many people enter therapy because of trust issues. You’re not alone and therapy can be immensely helpful. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog